Mention the multiverse and visions of myriad soap bubbles float the consciousness.
This is mainstream physics attempting to be fringe and at most tries, it succeeds.
But proving it is hard, and when it comes to theorizing if ‘our’ kind of life can form in an alternate universe, well, even MIT has to ‘just theorize’:
Just by reading at that title you might have disregarded this article as pure fantasy. And to be honest, I had to read the MIT article twice before I took it seriously.
Although it’s pure speculation, there’s something appealing about considering multiple universes (a scenario known as the “multiverse”) where anything — and I mean anything — is possible. But just because an alternate universe is possible, it doesn’t mean life can exist there.
Now scientists from MIT — obviously not content with searching for life within our own cosmos — have shown that alternate universes could nurture life even if the fundamental nature of these universes is totally different from our own.
Professor Robert Jaffe and his team at MIT recently had their work published on the front cover of Scientific American after they reached this intriguing conclusion. By slightly altering the masses of the fundamental particles that make up the matter in our universe, Jaffe et al. have shown that although the characteristics of the elements may change, organic chemistry should still be possible in the multiverse.
In the multiverse, “nature gets a lot of tries — the universe is an experiment that’s repeated over and over again, each time with slightly different physical laws, or even vastly different physical laws,” says Jaffe.
Focusing only on carbon-based life forms (i.e. Life As We Know It™), the MIT scientists worked out some different scenarios by tweaking the masses of the tiny particles that make up protons and neutrons. These particles are called “quarks” and they come in six different “flavors” but Jaffe only looked at the most common quarks: the ‘up,’ ‘down’ and ‘strange’.
The Right Mix For Life?
Soon after the Big Bang, energy conditions in our universe were ‘just right’ for matter to form, cool and clump together in such a way that it eventually formed the galaxies, stars and planets that we see today.
But say if something was slightly different? What if one of the forces failed to separate from the primordial soup of matter over 13 billion years ago? What if the earliest particles to form — such as quarks — had slightly different masses than we measure today?
In previous studies, researchers have altered the characteristics of just one variable to see how their modified universe would evolve. Most of the time, the resulting universe became radically different, throwing everything into a chaotic mess where the most basic chemistry couldn’t hope to survive.
It was analogous to pulling a critical block (a constant) out of an unsteady Jenga tower (the universe), toppling the stack.
The question of life in these situations never came up, it was impossible for any stable elements or compounds to form.
But in this new research, the idea was to alter mass of all the quarks, not just one of them.
In our universe, the down quark is about twice as heavy as the up quark, resulting in neutrons that are 0.1 percent heavier than protons. Jaffe and his colleagues modeled one family of universes in which the down quark was lighter than the up quark, and protons were up to a percent heavier than neutrons. In this scenario, hydrogen would no longer be stable, but its slightly heavier isotopes deuterium or tritium could be. An isotope of carbon known as carbon-14 would also be stable, as would a form of oxygen, so the organic reactions necessary for life would be possible. — MIT release.
Although the fundamental particles would be very different, organic chemistry would be possible in this case.
The thinking here is that alternate universes are constructed completely different from our own.
Some might be, but I think there’s quite a few that exist exactly along side ours, constructed almost identically!
The meme of the Founding Fathers of the United States were ‘Christian’ and that the US is once and always a ‘Christian’ nation started during the Reagan and on through the Bushs’ 1,2 and including Clinton’s administrations is still with us today. In fact it is strongest in the state of Texas.
As anyone who is a serious student of history, and one doesn’t have to be a student of esoteric history if they keep their eyes open at all realize that the Founding Fathers weren’t ‘Christian’ at all, but were Masonic Deists.
And it’s not hidden at all. The documentation is all out there to read if one is curious enough to read it.
Unfortunately, what we’re seeing is the efficiency of meme building of the media to control the masses and rewriting history at the same time to serve a purpose.
It is up to you dear reader to determine what that purpose is:
Over two days, more than a hundred people — Christians, Jews, housewives, naval officers, professors; people outfitted in everything from business suits to military fatigues to turbans to baseball caps — streamed through the halls of the William B. Travis Building in Austin, Tex., waiting for a chance to stand before the semicircle of 15 high-backed chairs whose occupants made up the Texas State Board of Education. Each petitioner had three minutes to say his or her piece.
“Please keep César Chávez” was the message of an elderly Hispanic man with a floppy gray mustache.
“Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world and should be included in the curriculum,” a woman declared.
Following the appeals from the public, the members of what is the most influential state board of education in the country, and one of the most politically conservative, submitted their own proposed changes to the new social-studies curriculum guidelines, whose adoption was the subject of all the attention — guidelines that will affect students around the country, from kindergarten to 12th grade, for the next 10 years. Gail Lowe — who publishes a twice-a-week newspaper when she is not grappling with divisive education issues — is the official chairwoman, but the meeting was dominated by another member. Don McLeroy, a small, vigorous man with a shiny pate and bristling mustache, proposed amendment after amendment on social issues to the document that teams of professional educators had drawn up over 12 months, in what would have to be described as a single-handed display of archconservative political strong-arming.
McLeroy moved that Margaret Sanger, the birth-control pioneer, be included because she “and her followers promoted eugenics,” that language be inserted about Ronald Reagan’s “leadership in restoring national confidence” following Jimmy Carter’s presidency and that students be instructed to “describe the causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.” The injection of partisan politics into education went so far that at one point another Republican board member burst out in seemingly embarrassed exasperation, “Guys, you’re rewriting history now!” Nevertheless, most of McLeroy’s proposed amendments passed by a show of hands.
Finally, the board considered an amendment to require students to evaluate the contributions of significant Americans. The names proposed included Thurgood Marshall,Billy Graham, Newt Gingrich, William F. Buckley Jr., Hillary Rodham Clinton and Edward Kennedy. All passed muster except Kennedy, who was voted down.
This is how history is made — or rather, how the hue and cry of the present and near past gets lodged into the long-term cultural memory or else is allowed to quietly fade into an inaudible whisper. Public education has always been a battleground between cultural forces; one reason that Texas’ school-board members find themselves at the very center of the battlefield is, not surprisingly, money. The state’s $22 billion education fund is among the largest educational endowments in the country. Texas uses some of that money to buy or distribute a staggering 48 million textbooks annually — which rather strongly inclines educational publishers to tailor their products to fit the standards dictated by the Lone Star State. California is the largest textbook market, but besides being bankrupt, it tends to be so specific about what kinds of information its students should learn that few other states follow its lead. Texas, on the other hand, was one of the first states to adopt statewide curriculum guidelines, back in 1998, and the guidelines it came up with (which are referred to as TEKS — pronounced “teaks” — for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) were clear, broad and inclusive enough that many other states used them as a model in devising their own. And while technology is changing things, textbooks — printed or online —are still the backbone of education.
The cultural roots of the Texas showdown may be said to date to the late 1980s, when, in the wake of his failed presidential effort, the Rev. Pat Robertson founded the Christian Coalition partly on the logic that conservative Christians should focus their energies at the grass-roots level. One strategy was to put candidates forward for state and local school-board elections — Robertson’s protégé, Ralph Reed, once said, “I would rather have a thousand school-board members than one president and no school-board members” — and Texas was a beachhead. Since the election of two Christian conservatives in 2006, there are now seven on the Texas state board who are quite open about the fact that they vote in concert to advance a Christian agenda. “They do vote as a bloc,” Pat Hardy, a board member who considers herself a conservative Republican but who stands apart from the Christian faction, told me. “They work consciously to pull one more vote in with them on an issue so they’ll have a majority.”
Texas and Kansas lead the Evangelical Christian charge against ‘secular’ schooling, gaining considerable ground over the past thirty years.
Some folks wonder why American kids don’t score high on global math and science tests.
And senators from these states are whining about losing jobs after NASA institutes its new 2011 budget this fall, LOL!
Today’s hat tip goes to The Daily Grail .